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Rancher turns windmill into a giant icicle
Is it the world's largest icicle? It's hard to say, but the 30-ft. tall icicle "built" by Montana rancher Jim Jensen, of Levina, certainly qualifies as one of the most unusual ice sculptures ever created.
"I'd been thinking about doing something like this for the past couple of years. I bought an old windmill for $25, set it up near a pressurized water pipeline, and welded legs on it so it now stands about 30-ft. high," says Jensen.
"I hung woven wire from the windmill crossbars and parked three old horse-drawn plows and a mower at the base of the mill. When the weather got cold enough, I started running water up to the tower through a hose hooked to a hydrant. A sprinkler head at the end of the hose dispersed the water down the sides of the mill and over the equipment."
Jensen says it took about a week and a half for the ice sculpture to form. To add to the beauty, Jensen put two 500 watt lights, powered off a generator, inside the icicle.
How could he do that?
Easy, since the ice formed around the outside of the windmill frame and left the inside hollow. The lights shine through the ice and create a beautiful sight at night for passersby on the adjacent highway.
What if the weight of the ice collapses the tower? "No problem," says Jensen, "It'll just give it more character."
He plans on making a 50 ft. icicle next year by adding 20 ft. of pipe to the top of the windmill.


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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #2